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The World as We See it:Reference Points
A New Reference Text by Internationalist Perspective
Internationalist Perspective (IP) is a political organization basing itself on Marxism as a living theory, one that can go back to its sources, criticize them, and develop hand in hand with the historical social trajectory. As such, if Internationalist Perspective bases itself on the theoretical accomplishments of the Communist Left, IP believes that its principal task is to go beyond the weaknesses and the insufficiencies of the Communist Left through an effort of incessant theoretical development. IP does not believe that that is our task alone, but rather that it can only be accomplished through debate, discussion and participation in the class struggle with other pro-revolutionaries. That vision conditions the clarity of its contribution to the struggle and to the development of the class consciousness of the proletariat. IP does not aim to bring to the class a finished political program, but rather to participate in the general process of clarification that unfolds within the working class.
Capitalism is a transient product of history, not its end. It came into being in response to conditions that no longer exist: labor power being the only source of social wealth, capitalism turned labor power into a commodity to appropriate the difference between its value and the value it creates. For centuries, this hunt for surplus value allowed for the growth in the production of use-values to develop hand in hand with the expansion of capitalist accumulation. Then it gave birth to a new production process, the real domination of capital, in which no longer labor power but the machine stands at the center of production. Through the 19th and into the 20th Century the technology set in motion by the collective worker came to dominate him and to replace him as the primary source of material wealth. The giant productivity this unleashed, allowed capitalism to grow both inwards and outwards. It spread over the entire planet and absorbed all spheres of society –including the trade unions and mass parties that arose from the struggle of the working class.
But instead of freeing humanity from want, this giant productivity condemned capitalism to overproduction. Wealth-creation was no longer dependent on the exploitation of labor power but this plunged capitalism, imprisoned by the value form, into a crisis of profit. These obstacles to accumulation force capitalism to increase the exploitation of labor and to create room for new expansion through self-destruction, through massive devalorization in depression and war. Capitalism entered its obsolescent phase when such cannibalistic destruction became part of its accumulation cycle. It is obsolescent, not because it doesn’t grow – it has developed tremendously and profoundly modified the composition of social classes and the conditions in which they struggle in the process -- but because this growth, in its rapacious hunt for profit, became increasingly self-destructive, including of the natural environment itself. Capitalism has become a mortal threat to the very existence of humankind. It cannot be reformed. It cannot be humanized. It must be abolished.
The ultimate contradiction of capitalism is that it posits labor-power as the sole source of value, while continuously expelling it from the production process. Yoked to the operation of the law of value, and its quantification of the whole of life, science and technology do not liberate but reinforce the ties. Yet the working class who keeps the process in motion is - by its very condition within capitalism - impelled to free itself from the alienation that capitalism, as a social relation, subjects it to, and is, therefore, the bearer of the project of a society freed from the value form, money, and the division of society into classes.
Such a project has never before been undertaken in history. If the Russian revolution was a proletarian one, it did not result in the emergence of a communist society. The so-called "communism" of the former Eastern bloc, like that of China or Cuba, was nothing other than a manifestation of state capitalism. Indeed, the emergence on an historical scale of a new society can only be realized by the total negation of capitalism on a global scale. The process of communization of all aspects of social life begins immediately, not at the end of a posited “period of transition”. Such a new society entails a profound transformation in the relation of humans to themselves and to each other, of the individual to production, to consumption, and to nature; it entails a human community at the service of the expansion and satisfaction of all human needs.
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